Tigers manager Brad Ausmus’ job “appears to be” in jeopardy, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Some that are familiar with the team’s thinking are wondering if the players have “stopped playing” for Ausmus in light of the team’s recent skid. He adds that Ausmus was a Dave Dombrowski hire, and while new GM Al Avila supported the decision, the Ilitch family (the Tigers’ owners) was far more skeptical on the idea of a rookie manager succeeding legend Jim Leyland. If he does get dismissed from Detroit, Ausmus would “have to wait about eight minutes for another job,” a rival GM tells Heyman.
More from the division…
- Speaking of the Tigers, MLive.com’s Chris Iott writes that Detroit’s recent six-game road trip perfectly illustrates what a difficult task Avila will have in his first offseason as he attempts to rebuild the pitching staff. Detroit allowed 61 runs and scored just 20 on their recent six-game road trip, and there aren’t even three locks for the 2016 rotation at this point. Veterans Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez will be in, and there are young options beyond that duo (most notably, perhaps, Daniel Norris). However, Iott writes that the Tigers will likely add two starters from outside the organization. As far as the bullpen is concerned, there’s perhaps less certainty there, with only three — possibly four — certainties headed into next year. Neftali Feliz is an obvious non-tender candidate, as Iott notes.
- The Indians announced today that they’ve scratched ace Corey Kluber from his start due to a strained right hamstring. Kluber will be sidelined for one or two starts, but Cleveland expects him to pitch again in 2015. Nonetheless, the injury is notable for a team that is on the outskirts of the AL Wild Card race at six games back and will play its next nine games against teams with sub-.500 records (the White Sox and Tigers).